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This Week in Legacy: The Tides are High!


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of This Week in Legacy! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're going to talk a bit about the resurgence of High Tide! In addition to that we've got a paper event to look at as well as two Challenge events, one of which was a Showcase Challenge.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Is High Tide Back?

We're a few short weeks into the unbanning of Mind's Desire in Legacy, and it's definitely seemed like it has settled into the overall Legacy metagame as just another powerful combo engine card.

Out of this unbanning, during the first week we did see a deck that has been well removed from Legacy as a whole for quite some time now in the form of High Tide, through a result by Reid Duke in a preliminary.

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The primary game plan of High Tide, for those folks newer to the format who may not have ever seen this deck, is to make land drops and use the card High Tide to make your Islands tap for multiple blue mana. It then uses cards that untap lands like Turnabout and Time Spiral to generate even more mana, utilizing cantrips and countermagic through the loops to protect itself. It then casts a spell to win the game off of, in this case Mind's Desire being both an engine that develops out the loops of untapping and tapping mana and also a win condition that finds the cards you need to win the game and protect itself. In the case of Reid's list, this uses Fae of Wishes' adventure half to find a card to win with out of the sideboard (typically either using Brain Freeze to mill the opponent or Blue Sun's Zenith to make the opponent draw their deck).

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High Tide is pretty classically known as a much slower combo deck than most, as generally it needs to get to at least three lands to begin performing its combo to generate enough to start untapping lands with effects like Turnabout or Candelabra of Tawnos.

After this initial burst of people trying out this deck, there have been further iterations on it, even going to versions where cutting the Candelabras are seeing play.

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This version gets to utilize Lorien Revealed as both a land and a solid hit off Desire. This also lets the list cut down on lands as Lorien is a land in the list at the same time. This version isn't using cards like Turnabout either as it is more reliant on the mana cost reduction of Sapphire Medallion with cards like Snap, Cloud of Faeries, and Time Spiral.

So... the question over the past few weeks is one of whether High Tide is really back or not. In my opinion, Mind's Desire certainly was a card that High Tide gets to use and is very powerful in that shell. At the same time, I don't know that it improves the deck's standing in the format more than it has been other than the fact that it will show up a bit more than it did before (which was very very very rare). I expect this to be a deck that shows up from time to time but not quite breaking into Tier 1.5.

The Gathering Place Games Legacy 5K 8/19/2023

This past weekend was a paper event at The Gathering Place Games in NC. You can find their Facebook page here. This event had a solid 93 players in it, which is great to see.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Let's take a look at the recorded Top 8 by Swiss record.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Red Painter 6-1 Joe Ambrosio
Grixis Delver 6-1 Michael Braverman
Red Painter 6-1 Eric Farmer
Boros Stompy 6-1 Chase Robertson
Mono Green Cloudpost 5-0 Mana_Station
Cephalid Breakfast 5-0 Richard Johnson
Black Stompy 5-1 Benji Lieu
Rakdos Shadow 5-1 Chase Kiehl

Very interesting Top 8, lot of Ancient Tomb decks here. Out of the decks here, the one that really stuck out at me was the Rakdos Shadow list. Wildly interesting and leaning more on Modern Scam deckbuilding philosophy here.

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Legacy Challenge 8/19

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 64 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Death's Shadow was the most popular deck here and it had a really strong win rate. Reanimator was popular but its win rate suffered a ton. Of the decks above the cutoff, Lands and Jeskai both did reasonable.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Dimir Scam 1st MadMaxErnst
Red Stompy 2nd _BOI_
4C Non Uro Control 3rd CoolUser
Death's Shadow 4th Aegisaziz
Lands 5th CCDSmash
High Tide 6th Doc_B
Oops! All Spells 7th jamiewvh
Cephalid Breakfast 8th jibeta

Pretty interesting Top 8 with a nice range of things here. At the end of the event though, heralding the kind of weekend to come for this weekend was Dimir Scam in First Place.

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Leaning hard on the "Scam" package of Grief/Reanimate, this deck has a lot of strong things it can do and a wide range of tools at its disposal. Sauron's Ransom has consistently looked good in the current format.

The Second Place list was Red Stompy.

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I really like Oliphaunt here as a red source early and a threat later on if the game gets to that point. This list is really strong though. I also really like Laelia, the Blade Reforged because I think that card is super fun to play around with.

Further down the Top 8 we had Lands.

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The Sphere lands lists are looking like they're the big defacto variant at the moment. Putting pressure on an opponent to cast their spells seems very strong right now for sure.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Cephalid Breakfast.

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Ban Shuko! (I'm kidding, this is a joke) I really like this deck a lot. It's very powerful and has a strong proactive game plan.

Legacy Showcase Challenge 8/20

The second event of the weekend was a Legacy Showcase Challenge event. Showcase Challenges feed into the Showcase Qualifier at the end of the season with the Top 8 being invited to that event. Because of the premier play level of this event, it requires Qualification Points (QPs) to enter. This event had 304 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Death's Shadow and Dimir Scam were the two most popular decks of the event overall and both did quite well in terms of win rate. This event was definitely a hallmark for the card [Reanimate]], whether there was a Grief or not to go with it (as a number of Shadow pilots are off the entire Scam package now). Of the rest of the decks below these two, Doomsday did well as did GW Depths and Lands.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Death's Shadow 1st AndySCWilson
Dimir Scam 2nd bernardocssa
RUG Cascade 3rd EndMagnus
Death and Taxes 4th cigarettesaftershrek
Dimir Scam 5th easymoneymarksman
GW Depths 6th Dreddybajs
Doomsday 7th wonderPreaux
Death's Shadow 8th Aegisaziz

So much Dimir here in the Top 8, with a number of Shadow decks and Dimir Scam. At the end of the event, it was a solid Dimir + red splash Shadow list by AndySCWilson that won.

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I am really digging this list quite a bit. The sideboard red splash cards of Meltdown seems really strong right now, but Ob Nixilis, the Adversary seems incredibly good to toss an Army token into from a Bowmasters for Casualty. Definitely a solid-looking list for sure.

In Second Place we had Dimir Scam.

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The card here I really find interesting that I've seen ongoing is Palantir of Orthanc. It's a really strong card that can draw both cards or kill an opponent if they choose to mill (especially if you hit stuff like Trolls and Murktides).

Also in this Top 8 we had RUG Cascade (aka Rhinos).

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I have to say, Inevitable Betrayal as one of the deck's sideboard plans is so wild to me, but having seen it firsthand in a game, it's pretty cool.

Further down the Top 8 we had Death and Taxes.

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The black splash for D&T seems quite strong. One card that has really impressed me is The Battle of Bywater in how many things it typically is able to get rid of when it pops off. Many of the creatures in play from D&T are not that large making it a strong card.

Around the Web

  • The Legacy Gambit has a great video on learning from your in-game mistakes on Mono-Red Prison. Check it out here. This series continues to produce some quality content so give them a sub!
  • Burn Baby Burn!
  • Veteran D&T master xJCloud has a whole article on watching the Owl House, I mean on understanding D&T color splashes. Check it out here.
  • Bryant Cook has a video on High Tide! Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 deck lists over here.

This 4C deck playing stuff like Leyline Binding and even Thwart is kind of sweet.

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Another 4C deck but not in green. This one has Forth Eorlingas! and Staff of the Storyteller which is neat.

Delighted Halfling is really pulling its weight here with all the Legendary spells.

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Arena Rector Scam is wildly interesting to me.

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Blue Painter, but Cyberdrive Awakener?! Spicy.

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FOOD SCAM.

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thanks for continuing to support the column and join us next week as we continue our journey into Legacy!

As always you can reach me at all my associated links via my Link Tree! In addition, I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the MTGLegacy Discord Server.

Until next time!



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